Google is the tech's best spending on lobbying, but Facebook, Amazon also up

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, is sworn in under a court of law in the Washington, D.C., US, Tuesday, December 11, 2018.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As the largest US technology companies face increasing scrutiny of privacy practices and market control regulators, they spend much more money trying to influence lawmakers. No company in America gets more money from these efforts than Google.

Last year, the company spent $ 21[ads1].7 million on lobbying, according to Center for Responsive Politics. For two consecutive years, it has been the top corporate savvy, which spends traditional frontrunners such as Boeing and AT & T. Amazon and Facebook also reached record levels of lobbying costs in 2018.

For many years, with their market caps climbed with consumer influence, the largest US technology companies organized for the day when their business practices would be more thoroughly scrutinized. It looks like time is now. Between Friday and Monday, reports reported that the Justice Department is preparing an antitrust probe by Google and has been granted jurisdiction over Apple as part of a broader technology industry review. The Federal Trade Commission has taken over the control of Amazon and Facebook.

Even before the recent regulatory developments, legislators on both sides of the time were ratcheting up pressure on tech companies. One of the biggest critics is Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a democratic presidential candidate, who has been promoting a "break up big tech" campaign.

Lobbying spending by tech companies has been steadily increasing in recent years and is well over the last decade. In 2009, Google spent just $ 4 million on lobbying, a fivefold increase last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The company began spending more on lobbying in 2011 and 2012 when it faced challenges from the FTC. In 2012, Google paid more than $ 22.5 million in fines to settle FTC privacy-related fees, and next year agreed to change some of the business procedures due to concerns that the company was stifling competition.

Amazon, which spent $ 14.4 million on lobbying last year, and Facebook, amounting to $ 12.6 million, are also among the top 20 US corporate publishers. Facebook's costs increased by 45% from 2016 and almost sixtyfold from 2009. The company expects to be fined up to $ 5 billion from an FTC survey that began after last year's Cambridge Analytica scandal and investigated whether Facebook violated a 2011 deal it did with The agency demanding

Amazon's expenses went up 27% from two years earlier and nearly eight times over a decade.

Microsoft made $ 9.6 million in lobbying, up from around $ 8.7 million each of the two previous years. And Apple spent $ 6.68 million last year, down slightly from 2017, but well over 2016. Companies are spending competition from privacy to privacy.

The United States is well behind Europe in enforcement. In March, Google was beaten by a $ 1.7 billion fine, as appealing, by the European Commission to disrupt the online advertising competition. Since 2017, the EU has charged the company with two other fines totaling $ 8 billion for competition competition.

While the amount of money big business corporations are spending on political lobbying, is a small fraction of their large cash flows, the increased allocation shows the meanings of Washington, DC, the future growth.

WATCH: Schiffer says tech regulation pressures intensify

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